Clemson Tigers, RB Andre Ellington Needs a Good Combine Workout

By Dale Casler


Joshua S. Kelly- USA TODAY Sports

Clemson Tigers, RB Andre Ellington will need a good workout at the 2013 NFL Combine. He’s arguably one of the best running back prospects in the draft but analysts are calling the entire class weak this year. The back position is quickly becoming a dual role in the NFL as many teams are interested in two backs that they can use at their disposal.  In short, the term “dime a dozen” is being used for players like Ellington.

Ellington seems to have the ability to take some pretty big hits and keep getting up though.  Who’s to say how that translates in the NFL with much bigger players and nastier hits. Regardless of what the position has become, Ellington is sure to find a role with any team. There’s a team out there with a need and he will certainly be a good addition to any team that picks him.

With a fourth round grade, it’s hard to predict where he will end up.  NFL Network’s, Mike Mayock has Ellington as the third best back and wants to see a faster 40 yard dash time from him in order to grade him any higher.  Let’s say Ellington does come out and shine in the dash though; a third round grade really won’t make a difference in who’s interested.

The draft simply won’t see that “run” on running backs. No pun intended.  Former Kansas City Chiefs, GM Scott Pioli has said that this draft has a handful of guys that are 10-12 carry a game backs. Again, this plays into the dual back situation many teams are in.  So let’s say Ellington posts some good speed and gets a final grade of a high third rounder, here are some teams who may be calling him.

The San Diego Chargers have the 76th pick and they fall into that two back category as a team.  Ryan Mathews, hasn’t exactly shown he can handle any more than just under 200 carries a season.  In fact, he’s more of a 150-175 carry running back.  The team’s other rusher, Jackie Battle arrived last season and showed that he could pick up the rest of the slack.  He only signed a one year deal though.  I don’t believe he’s on anyone’s radar as well, including the Chargers.  I think the best spot for Ellington is in sunny, San Diego.

Two spots later, the St. Louis Rams are faced with long time legend Steven Jackson potentially leaving, retiring or staying….I guess?  He’s also up there in age.  The Rams might not even be interested in retaining him for the amount of money he’d command.  They found a likely gem in Daryl Richardson last season. But he will need some help regardless of what Jackson does or doesn’t do.  Ellington and Richardson wouldn’t have the power up the gut but as stated before, Ellington has shown he can take a pop and keep on keepin’ on.  The Rams may be a good spot for the Clemson back to call home.

From there, it’s anyone’s guess.  There is simply no way to predict where Ellington would go in the fourth or fifth rounds of the draft.  I don’t see him falling any further than that, being one of the better backs at the combine this weekend.  I see him moving up in the draft if anything. He’d have to leave the combine and kick a puppy, get arrested with drugs, drive drunk and get locked up for his stock to fall at this point.

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